I Just Have A Lot of (Mixed) Feelings // Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildGenre: Playscript, Fantasy
Date Published: 31st July 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Pages: 330
Buy: Amazon // Book Depository // Little Brown UK
Australia: Angus & Robertson // Booktopia
Follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter //Follow Jack Thorne on Twitter

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

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I’m sure everyone knows what this book is about. So I won’t rehash it for you. However, what I’ll do is link to this AMAZING post by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks where she discusses some points to help you not be disappointed when reading this.

If I were to sum this review up in a GIF it would be:

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It’s quite hard to review this properly without mentioning spoilers, so further down I’ll be discussing some things that will be SPOILERS GALORE. I’ll definitely give an appropriate warning though.

The Cursed Child is first and foremost a play. I could easily see which lines were written solely to get a reaction from the audience. You can’t go into this expecting to read a book similar to the previous seven. There’s no description or build up because it relies on our prior knowledge of the universe. Again, I can’t complain about this because it’s a script. I know some people might be feeling disappointed because one of my favourite things about the Harry Potter series was the vivid imagery that J.K. Rowling created. That’s another important thing to remember J.K. Rowling didn’t write this script.

I know there’s a lot of debate about whether this should be included in canon and I think that as long as you’re being respectable that decision is entirely your own. Personally, for me, I hated the epilogue in Deathly Hallows so I just  imagine book 7 ended on the last chapter. I think the great thing about books is that we can make the story our own. Canon doesn’t have to be everything.

IMG_4980

The experience I had whilst reading this was absolutely magical. The moment I read the first page I felt like I had been transported back into time. It actually felt surreal. It was just so great being back in the world of Harry Potter. I was reminded just how much I loved these characters and how important this book series is to me. I had a very emotional reading experience. My parents probably thought I was crazy because I was talking to myself the whole way through. I remember walking around the house with my Kindle and taking it with me when I had to go do some grocery shopping and I felt like I was 15 again and reading Order of the Phoenix for the first time. I had the most amazing time reading this book.

However, I had some issues with the plot. Again, it had nothing to do with the script format. I knew going into this to expect a rapid pace – that wasn’t the problem. I hate saying this, but at times The Cursed Child read like fan fiction and not the good kind. I’m in no way trying to shame fan fiction – I think it’s amazing. However, as a published work I expect not to see every cliche trope that’s ever existed crammed in. Maybe this is my fault for having read fan fiction since I was 14. I just feel like at times it was a bit too ridiculous and the fan service too heavily obvious.

Then there’s the characters. This is set nineteen years after Deathly Hallows so the Golden Trio and co. are all middle aged adults now. They definitely are going to be different to their teenage selves, but to me they felt too different at times. Certain things happened that I could NEVER imagine them doing. I’m aware that everyone in this series is flawed and that’s what I love about it, but even then I couldn’t see some things that went down happening.

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”

That’s pretty much all I can say without spoiling anything. I had a seriously hard time trying to decide on a rating. If I was reviewing the plot alone it would probably be 3 stars, but reading experience would have been 5 stars. I couldn’t ignore all the issues I had though so I settled on 4. I think The Cursed Child can be really enjoyable if you go in with an open mind and remember it’s a play – not J.K. Rowling writing an eight novel in the series.

My Rating: ★★★★☆


SPOILERS AHEAD

TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK

SERIOUSLY

S P O I L E R S !!!!!!


Let’s Talk…

There’s so much I need to talk about. Some of it good and some of it bad. I’ve decided to break it down into sections because that’s the easiest way I can think of.

Albus & Scorpius:

Scorpius Malfoy, or as I like to call him – My Sweet Summer Child, was hands down my favourite part of this entire script. I love him. I love him. I love him. I can’t even be somewhat coherent when talking about him because I just want to hug him and keep him safe from the world. I enjoyed Albus as a character too. I’ve seen some people talk about how he was annoying, but I mean he is a teenager and he has one of the most famous wizards ever as a father. I think him being sorted in Slytherin was predictable, but an interesting concept. I think it’s a great throwback to the Sorting Hat considering to put Harry there too.

I know it wasn’t just me but I was seriously thinking the script was alluding that there’d be more than a friendship between Albus and Scorpius. The relationship between the two was beautiful and definitely one of the best parts in this entire story. I just feel like the creators really had a chance to put in some diversity, but then it ended super heteronormative. Friendships of course are just as important and I realise that’s the basis of the series and that’s what the writers were trying to put across, but I don’t know man. It would have been so awesome to see. I’ve never been on board with the end game pairings anyway so I may as well add Albus/Scorpius to the mix  😂 I mean just look at some of these moments:

Albus hugs his friend. With fierceness. They hold for a beat. 

Scorpius appears at the back of the stage. He looks at his friend talking to a girl – and a part of him likes it and part of him doesn’t. 

Albus: Just – we’ll be be better off without each other, okay?

Scorpius is left looking up after him. Heartbroken. 

I’M SORRY, BUT??? NEW OTP ALERT TBH.

Harry Would Never:

As I mentioned before I know Harry is a flawed character. I know he can be rash and emotional and angst-y. However, he would NEVER in a million years EVER say that he wished his son wasn’t his. Not after the abuse he suffered growing up. Not one single part of me believes that Harry Potter, who was also willing to die for his friends, would say:

“Well, there are times I wish you weren’t my son.”

Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way – um, Wait!!! I Mean Delphi:

“I want a return to pure and strong magic. I want to rebirth the Dark.”

I’m laughing again just reading this quote and thinking about Delphi’s character. I’m convinced she was based on our favourite Slytherin goth – Ebony. Voldemort having a kid is just so trope-y I can’t deal. And I’m a Voldie/Bellatrix shipper. So. I wasn’t expecting there to be J.K. Rowling plot twists in this, but I predicted Delphi wasn’t who she says is the moment she showed up.

“Professor” Hermione:

It may seem ridiculous to some, but one of the biggest issues I had with this book is the way Hermione was portrayed in the alternate timeline where she was a Defense against the Dark Arts professor. The fact that it was implied that Hermione would turn into an angry, psychopathic, crazy lady because she didn’t marry Ron really got under my skin. Mercedes talked about it in her review and I found myself furiously nodding in agreement. Hermione is one of the smartest and most brilliant witches in the Wizarding World and you’re trying to tell me that the ONLY way she became successful and was happy is because she married Ron? There is not one single part of this that I will EVER accept.

Valor Voldie:

Even though there was a lot of plot holes regarding the time travel I actually found it really interesting. I liked how we went back into time during events that happened at Hogwarts. Of course it would have been nice to see something new, but I appreciate the nostalgia factor.

I especially enjoyed the “dark” timeline. It was really terrifying to look back at how things could have been if Voldemort had won the war. I liked how it reiterated how important Neville was in The Final Battle. Although, I highly doubt Cedric (A HUFFLEPUFF) would become a Death Eater simply because he was “embarrassed” lmao.

The moment Umbridge showed up I felt an instant chill of disgust and terror. The fact that just reading a character’s name can still have that affect on you after all these years (pun not intended) is a sign of INCREDIBLE writing on J.K.’s behalf.

Snape:

I totally accept and acknowledged that Snape he did some really shitty things and that just because at the end he was a good guy that it doesn’t excuse his past behaviour. There’s something about him that I’ve always liked though. I don’t know. I think it’s okay to like flawed characters as long as you’re able to admit their wrongdoings. I found the alternate timeline scenes with him and Scorpius some of the strongest in these scripts. I was incredibly emotional during all of them.

Misc:

A list of random things that don’t really fit anywhere else

  • It’s great to see that Professor McGonagall is still as badass as ever.
  • I’ve never been a huge Ron fan, but the way his character was portrayed solely as comic relief didn’t sit right.
  • I loved that you could still see the unspoken connection between Harry and Hermione. That’s my shipper side shining through, but whatever.
  • Harry calling out Dumbledore was kind of everything.
  • I like the way Draco’s character was handled. It was a homage to his character in the books, but really helped show that he could have redemption – that he deserves redemption.
  • The Ministry of Magic scene were Albus was pretending to be Ron and kissed Hermione made be SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I experienced such bad secondhand embarrassment during that I thought I was going to DIE.
  • CEDRIC, MY SWEET HUFFLEPUFF PRINCE.
  • I know that they couldn’t have fit every single character into the play and I wasn’t expecting them to, but it would have been nice to have just a mention of Teddy or Luna.
  • The moment I read “Best to do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous” I started crying.

There’s probably so many things I’ve forgotten, but these are the main ones I can think of!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Cursed Child. Have you read it? Do you want to?

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

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35 thoughts on “I Just Have A Lot of (Mixed) Feelings // Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

  1. THERE IS NO WAY THAT SCORPIUS AND ALBUS ARE NOT IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER. NO FREAKING WAY. There was so much foreshadowing; how their “hearts broke” when the other was hurt. It was so obvious. Scorpius’s crush on Rose literally came out of nowhere, and was mostly fan-service because SO many people shipped ScoRose before the book even came out. T_T In my head, Albus and Scorpius are off cuddling or something.
    I feel like I’m the one on the planet who didn’t think Harry was incapable of being a somewhat bad parent. He’s never really had a father figure to look up to, so he’s always a little clueless about what he should be saying. One of the most prominent “father” figures was Dumbledore who always expected a little too much of a teenager. To me, Harry’s behavior was understandable. Not to mention that even as a teenager, he could be rather unfair to the people around him. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry got a lot of hate because he was always whining and being unfair to everyone else. He blamed Ron and Hermione for something that was out of their control. When mad, Harry could be extremely mean, and that was – at least to me – consistent with how he behaved in the Cursed Child. It’s not as if he meant it; he immediately realized what he had said in his temper and apologized and begged Albus to forgive him. I just think people are too harsh on his character- he was always very flawed, just less obvious because it wasn’t towards his children. But hey, that may just be me.

    ANYWAYS. LOVELY REVIEW, LAUREN. And thank you so much for mentioning my post in your review. I only hope some people will find some comfort after reading it. .<

    Like

  2. Thanks Aimal 😊

    RIGHT!!! All the scattered moments with Scorpius and Rose felt so forced and random. No thanks. I’m definitely imagining he and Albus are off cuddling somewhere too.

    I totally get what you’re saying! I definitely don’t think Harry would be a perfect parent by any means and maybe I’m being a bit blinded by my love for him 😅 I just felt like that line was taking it a bit too far. I was totally fine with the arguments and awkward/failed attempts at father/son bonding haha.

    And no worries!! It was such a great post!!

    Like

  3. Omg I literally agree with everything you’ve written. This review is basically life. I haven’t actually read the script yet, but I did see the play last month and everything you’ve written here translates to stage. Obviously it’s much better as a play because you can see the characters and their relationships come to life (as well as the special effects and sets which are unreal). I’m guilty of totally thinking Albus and Scorpius would be a thing too, and I would ship that SO hard. 💕😂 You’ve echoed other big gripe here, which is that I refuse to ever believe that Harry would ever act that way as a parent – despite being a hot head, he’s one of the most compassionate and loving characters in children’s books! Crazy. I think the canon or not debate will continue to rage whatever anyone says! Amazing review. 😊 x

    Like

    1. Thanks, Sammie!!

      Ah, I’m so jealous that you’ve seen the play! I can’t imagine how magical it must have been. If it ever does come to Australia I don’t know if I’d be able to afford it (since everything that comes here is like doubled in price to account for travelling costs) so I really hope they decide to tape it or something!!

      They would be the ACTUAL cutest.

      RIGHT!! I totally get that Harry’s done some shitty things because of his temper, but I honestly just can not accept that he’d say that. Ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! 🙂 Yeah, that’s pretty much the only word I can use to describe it! Really?! That’s so stupid. I think they’ll eventually release a DVD of the show, once it’s run for a while. The demand for it would be huge, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t! RIGHT? I was so disappointed when I realised that wasn’t where it was heading. 😦 I get that it’d be super hard to be Harry’s son, and that Harry is struggling having a son himself considering he never learned how to be a father from James, but I agree! I just don’t think that would have been what he said. It just didn’t feel like him at all!

        Like

  4. Great review! I pretty much agree with everything you said. I have mixed feelings about it as well – It brought up all the old emotions and feelings for me, but the plot did have a few holes and things that did not make much sense. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE Scorpius so much. Actually him and Draco or my favorite characters in this whole book. I also missed Teddy Lupin, Luna and I also would have loved a George Weasley cameo, especially with Ron managing Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who is totally shipping Albus/Scorpius! I mean, it was sooo clear! They fit so well together. In my head canon they are just a bit in denial still. They’re only in their fourth year of Hogwarts so I believe they will still figure it out in their later years. I mean, Harry was in love with Cho in year 4 right? Anything can happen – and in my head Albus and Scorpius are so endgame 🙂

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  5. I agree with you on absolutely everything haha! I’ve never cared for the Epilogue so I my expectations were pretty low going into this anyway, but I had fun.

    I watched Mercedes review too and I completely agree with everything she said about “Professor Hermione”. I don’t understand why they thought that was a good idea?? There’s no way Hermione would let not being with the boy she fancied get in her way.

    Oh my god, Albus/Scorpius. I cannot believe I have a next gen ship. I can’t believe this is who I am now. I LOVED them. I really hate how they tried to shoehorn in Scorpius’ crush on Rose, that whole “no homo!! we’re just great pals haha!!! we like girls!!!” scene at the end felt like such a slap in the face. If Albus and Scorpius don’t get married what is even the point……

    I got super overwhelmed at Harry saying “best to do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous” too! It was like all my love for this series just came flooding back hahaha

    Before I read it I had absolutely no intention of going to see it because I really, really resent how much it costs, but now I’m curious haha! I’d love to see how they do the magic onstage.

    Like

    1. Haha, yay! So glad I’m not alone with not caring for the epilogue. I feel like the last chapter was such a perfect ending.

      Right!! It bothered me so much. When I read that part I was just sitting there thinking, “…are you serious?”. It was wrong on so, so many levels.

      And yes!!! The Rose and Scorpius scenes that were scattered throughout felt so fake and forced. I’m super disappointed at the “no homo!!! just bros being bros!!!” ending. I’m totally imagining that they figure out that they’re actually in love with each other. So.

      I actually made some kind of incoherent noise out loud when I read it.

      I’d love to see the play! I’m super interested in how they’d do the magic. I know if I’ll ever be able to though even if it does ever come to Australia. I’m lowkey hoping they decide to tape it or something.

      Like

      1. Me too! I always felt that the epilogue was kind of unnecessary.

        I’m so pleased that Albus and Scorpius being in love with each other seems to be the universal opinion hahaha

        I really hope they’ll tape it too! It seems silly to only show it in London when people all over the world are desperate to see it performed!

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  6. I’m really glad you enjoyed this book. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet butI keep picking it up and flicking through the scenes to find the ones I remember loving from the play.
    Yeah I wasn’t keen on Hermione’s character in the alternative world, I mean, I liked seeing how the things Albus and Scorpius changed in the past had a ripple effect in the present but I didn’t buy Hermione in the world where she was a professor. She just seemed really cold and a little cruel as well and it didn’t fit with the Hermione I remember from the books.
    I will say I completely agree with you as well; Albus and Scorpius are my new OTP! 😀 Also I loved every scene with Snape in it, he was amazing and it was great to see him back in the HP world as well!
    Great review Lauren! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Beth!

      It would have been amazing to see the play. I think it would have translated a lot better. I appreciate them releasing the scrip, but it’d be even better if they would tape the play haha.

      Yeah, definitely!! I feel like the changes were just /too/ much.

      Albus, Scorpius and Snape were definitely the strongest points. I can’t express how much I love Scorpius.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! 🙂
        Yeah the play is amazing, and there are obviously some things you can’t really express on paper you can on stage! I’m hoping they release a movie of the play or a recording or something because I’d love to own it and watch it again and again! 😀
        Scorpious is definitely one of my favourite characters now! I would read a whole series from his point of view! 🙂

        Like

  7. Ayyyy I’m so excited to read this, I can’t believe I don’t have a copy yet and probably won’t have one for a while!
    I’ve read like a million reviews already so I know everything about the plot, but since I’m not a big spoiler-hater I don’t mind. 😂

    Like

  8. *****SPOILERS IN MY COMMENT* I couldn’t deal with the shift in Hermione because she didn’t marry Ron, i was just like ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, the girl turned herself into an orphan for the sake of the world, is it really believable she’d turn mean and become only a professor because she didn’t marry Ron? Hermione is an independent character and strives for herself in my mind, and I complete refuse to believe this could happen!
    Also Umbridge AHHHH I wanted to hiss at her name when it came up, AND Cedric killing Neville because he was embarrassed! Not happening, I agree with you completely on Ron as well he was a bit of an idiot but he was necessary and I felt they just included him for comic relief and it didn’t sit well with me. Scorpius is a little sweetie pie and one of my favorite characters to ever come out of this franchise, Draco was pretty amazing as well schooling Harry on letting them be friends. I don’t believe Harry would ever say that to his son it made me cringe so badly!
    okay so I may have to many thoughts about this series, I reviewed in on goodreads but I don’t even know if I want to review it on here, I mean I loved LOVED ALOT of it and cried when I seen Snape but I have way to many feels about the Golden Trio to accept this version of them as Cannon.

    Fantastic review Lauren!

    Like

    1. Thanks Casey!

      Right!! I had a lot of fun reading it, but there were just too many plot choices that I couldn’t get on board with. I know JKR didn’t write it, but it’s almost hard to believe that she approved some of the choices that were made. Hermione turning into a jaded, angry professor because she didn’t marry Ron actually made me put the book down for several minutes because NO. As well as Harry saying what he did. I know he can be temperamental, but there’s not one part of me that believes he would EVER say that. The Cedric plot was so ridiculous haha.

      Scorpius and Snape were definitely the strongest parts of the play. The only thing I’m willing to accept is Scorpius and Albus 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t read the story, yet, but I took a peek at some of your spoiler section and omg, Scorpius and Albus should have definitely been cannon! What! The quotes you provide it are like hard evidence right there. And I’m sure it’s 100% fancannon.
    This is one of your best reviews ever, Lauren .haha. The other comments are for real. I’ll read the rest of your review after I read Cursed Child. x)

    Like

    1. There’s SOOO many more that I could have included too!! I’m so disappointed that they threw in all these fake heteronormative moments which was clearly total fan service for Draco/Hermione shippers. Haha, yeah I had a quick look on Tumblr and it’s definitely fan canon.

      Ahh, thanks so much, Naz!!! I can’t wait to hear what you think 😊

      Like

  10. Love your review, Voldemort having a kid was so weird. I tried to make my review spoiler free so never went into that detail but I was sat their like what the… so he and bellatrix? It was definitely something I never saw coming though and I enjoyed that whole element of the play. I liked how it shocked me and it incorporated things that you wouldn’t really expect to happen.

    I definitely think its good to drive home that this is a script and meant for a play, I think alot of people expected it to be more descriptive and you definitely feel a loss of the description but if you push all that aside and think of it as the script then it worked for me. I’m so glad you enjoyed it though, although I kind of wanted Luna and Neville to be in it? I wanted a serious gang reunion haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Riiiiight!! Trying to work out how fit into the timeline during the Battle of Hogwarts really made me confused too, haha. I mean it definitely shocked me, haha. I totally called that Delphi was a bad guy but I was not expecting her to be the secret child of Voldemort and Bellatrix. So there’s that I guess. I can imagine it would have been a really shocking reveal in the play.

      I feel like this definitely would have come across a lot better on stage and I really wish I could actually see the play! The fact that so many people didn’t even realise it was a script is so?? Like…… It literally says it right there on the front of the book haha. I’m so upset about that too!!! I really wanted to see them and Teddy!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everytime I think about her being the secret child I pull the same face, like ‘what the’. I just can’t imagine it aha! I really want to reread the book series now but i’m sort of putting myself off because I know I should read something else too…

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    Like

  12. I have no clue what to think about this book. I haven’t even bought it yet! I’m not sure if I will hate it or love it. I can totally understand having a lot of mixed feelings about it. Which is why I haven’t bought/read it yet, I’m pretty sure I will feel the same. Who knows though.

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  13. I’ve been avoiding the book ever since people started reviewing it. I’m honestly scared of being too disappointed… I wish I could go and see the play, at least that way I think I would be able to relate more to the book.

    Like

    1. I know what you mean! I feel like it would come across so much better on stage because you’d kind of forget how riddiculous some of the plot is because you’d definitely be caught up in everything! I had a fun reading experience, but there were so many things I couldn’t get on board with.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I totally agree with you! Harry and Ron seems so unfamiliar. I mean Harry would never shout at his kid like that. I adored Scorpius though, he deserves better. Also, let’s talk about the trolley witch. What a joke. Suddenly sweets can be thrown like a grenade and explodes? COME ON! THAT’S JUST SILLY.

    I definitely have mixed feelings about this book. :/

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  15. Such a great review!

    I found myself having so many mixed feelings during this book. Part of me was saying I loved it, because I did love having the chance to explore the world of Harry Potter once more. But then again, there were parts, like you said, that I felt just didn’t fit. I know you mentioned your love of Scorpius, I loved him myself. But for some reason I just couldn’t see him as Draco’s son. I struggled with this the entire book, because I loved the character and what he brought.
    But I found myself feeling so distant from the original trio. I felt that Ron was rarely mentioned, and Harry and Hermione were just “off” to me. However, i kept trying to remind myself that this is a play, and maybe the relationships and characters come to life much more on the stage.

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  16. Reading your review and the comments make me feel so much better about my summation of the play.
    Of course Albus and Scorpius should be together. Maybe he’ll accept this about himself in later in life. I really was reminded of the Carry On series in Fangirl, the way Simon Snow and Baz were in love.

    I liked the nostalgia but it felt like it was there to please the audience. All those Potter heads that have been begging for another book were probably immensely pleased. I would enjoy an entirely new story, new setting, and new goals to go with the new characters.

    I was also annoyed with how Hermoine turned out in both alternate realities. She was way too smart.

    I may be alone in saying, I could see Harry acting like this. So he got mad at his kid who was making it IMPOSSIBLE to be happy with. Maybe Harry wouldn’t think such mean things, but he’d still probably be a sucky dad to a kid who needs a little more. He was never good with the emotions. I think this play had to rush it and jump to the “There relationship is getting worse” bold move.

    I really couldn’t decide, who was the Cursed Child, Albus or Scorpius or someone else. What did you think?

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